Michael “Big Mike” F. Vance passed away peacefully with his family by his side at Mercy Hospice on August 16. Mike is survived by his loving wife of 39 years, Rachel (Tangari); their sons, Michael (Angie) and Ben (Marissa); grandchildren: Nathan, Alyssa, Luke, Everleigh, Analisea, and Simon; siblings: Debra (Paul) Dennis and James Vance; brother-in-law, Franco Tangari. He was preceded in death by his son, Charles Joseph; parents, Charles and Dottie; and in-laws, Joseph and Rosaria Tangari.
Mike was born in Key West, FL. He spent his childhood on various Naval bases and graduated from East High School class of 1975 in Des Moines, IA. After graduation he followed in the footsteps of his father Charles and joined the Navy. While in the Navy, Mike received letters of recognition for his work as a flight deck operator. After serving his term, he enjoyed living in Arizona for a short time before finally settling down in Des Moines where he met the love of his life Rachel (Tangari). They married on July 24, 1982 and later welcomed three sons: Charles, Michael and Ben.
Big Mike, as he was lovingly referred to, will be forever remembered as the life of the party. His fun, boisterous, charismatic personality engaged everyone he came in contact with. He loved entertaining everyone with his favorite karaoke renditions of New York, New York and Mack the Knife. Along with singing his favorite karaoke tunes, he enjoyed fishing, hunting, grilling and coaching his son’s sports teams. Big Mike’s unwavering love for the Kansas City Chiefs was passed on to his boys and they FINALLY got to celebrate a Super Bowl victory together.
Mike’s big smile and welcoming personality helped him excel as a car salesman at Gregg Young Chevrolet in Norwalk. His retirement in March 2020 allowed him to spend precious time with his family and his dog Hank. Eternal rest and peace to you Big Mike, until we meet again.
A visitation will be held on September 5 at Merle Hay Funeral Home from 4-6 p.m. followed by a celebration of life at Crown Point Community Center located at 6300 Pioneer Pkwy Johnston, IA 50131.
Memorial contributions may be given to his family. Rachel, Michael, and Ben would like to thank Dr. Benjamin Farrell, the Mercy ICU nurses, and the MercyOne Hospice nurses for the amazing care/compassion they provided Mike in his final days.